align="center">Letter from the Game Director
With the announced start of the server merge process not quite
having gone as planned I wanted to take the time today to speak to you
all explain where we are at with the merge process and what the
schedule looks like.
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Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison addresses the community about the server mergers.
Basically, on Wednesday when we came to do the first live merges we
encountered an issue with the structure of our data that we hadnt
found or experienced during testing. This issue caused there to be a
risk, on some servers, under specific circumstances, of items having
non-unique identifiers in our database. This in turn might have lead to
some cases of players items not surviving the merge. It didnt happen
at all during our testing, and may have been (in the scale of all
players and all items in the game) a possibly rare occurrence. However
this was not an area where the team and I were willing to take any
risks with whatsoever.
This is also exactly why we decided not to announce all the merge
schedules in advance and to ensure we could do them in a live
environment first before we went ahead with all the merges. While it is
never nice to have your contingency plans called into action, this
approach has meant we caught a potential issue before it could possibly
affect peoples actual game experience.
It also showed up a legacy issue with code that allocated those
identifiers that hadnt been apparent before. It is very important to
me and the team here that we resolve these issues thoroughly and
comprehensively and resist the temptation to rush a temporary, manual
or band aid fix to meet the goal of completing all the merges prior
to the holidays at the possible expense of risk to players progression
This meant we had to make the decision and do this task correctly. That
means both resolving the conflicts in the database and fixing the
problem with the allocation correctly so that it cant happen again
(the band aid solution would for example have meant ongoing character
transfers might have been problematic in the future).
So we have taken the decision to do everything that needs to be done to
ensure that players items or characters are not risked, as thats just
not a risk I find acceptable. We should, and will, do everything we can
to ensure that the process of the merges is done smoothly and with the
least risk to your characters.
Ok, so what does that mean exactly in reality I hear you ask? Most
importantly this means that the merge process will almost certainly
continue into January. We will now have to do some additional ground
work as it were to prepare the databases for the merges again. The
community team will provide more details on this over the coming days
and weeks in terms of schedules and when you can expect downtime so
please keep your eyes out for details.
I really appreciate everyones patience with this process and hope that
you all understand that I want to ensure that no corners are cut or
unnecessary risks taken with a process as important as this. I am very
disappointed that we havent managed to deliver the merges on the time
scales we were originally intending, but it is far more important to me
that these things are done with all the care and attention such a
process deserves and hope everyone sees that while unfortunate in terms
of time required this course of action is better for everyone.
Moving on from the merges, and on a much brighter note, the progress of
the next major update is starting to shape up very nicely. Update four
should go to the test server relatively soon. We hope to have a version
up and running on the public test server next week and in preparation
the provisional update notes are now available on the test server
forums for everyone to go and take a look at. There is quite a bit
there, some you already know about, some you dont.
Update four will most likely be deployed to the live servers in
January, but we have to see how the testing goes first before deciding
It has been very pleasing to see players enjoying the new content,
changes and fixes that have been going into the game over the last few
updates. The team is working very hard to both address the issues that
you guys have brought up since launch, and also to add new content and
features. Heading into the holiday season I am very glad to see that
progress is being made and that we are hopefully managing to keep on
improving your Hyborian experience!
Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison
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